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Washburn House was built by Smith College in 1878 for the incoming class of 1882. One of the original six houses constructed on the Original Smith Campus, Washburn was named for William Barren Washburn, one of the first trustees in the College.

From 1933 to 1938, Washburn was a cooperative house, like Lawrence was in 1912. The residents performed all the household chores except for the cooking. During the Spanish Civil War Washburn served as the Spanish-speaking house on campus, due to the impossibility of sending students to Spain for academic study.

Washburn is one of the smaller houses at Smith. Forty-three women call this inviting house, home. There are 15 single rooms, 14 doubles, and a wheelchair accessible suite in the house. The first floor has a full-service kitchen for resident use. Also located on the first floor are a living room with a grand piano, a TV room and a poolroom, which is used for both social gatherings and academic pursuits. The basement houses a study room containing the house library. Washburn residents eat their meals in Hubbard House Additionally, Washburn has a 24-hour computer lab which is very convenient for late night paper writing.

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